Understandably so, many fitness fanatics take their post-workout nutrition very seriously. After all, what you put in your body shortly after shelving the dumbbells can make or break your fitness gains. But if you really want to whip up a batch of biceps, it’s also vital not to overlook the importance of taking the time to consume a pre-workout snack.
Pumping some fuel into your body prior to working up a sweat can give you a much needed burst of energy so you’re ready to perform your best. Go without a pre-gym nibble and your exercise session could very well fall flat. And when you aren’t able to workout full-blast, the chances you’ll experience optimal physique gains are as likely as a Tour de France rider winning a strongman competition.
But don’t settle for junk calories to squash those hunger pangs. You want to eat something that provides lower glycemic, whole food based calories so you end up with a slow stream of energy, not a spike and subsequent crash that can leave you tossing in the towel much too early. As a bonus, a low glycemic snack will actually encourage more fat-burning during your workout.
Where to start? Take your pre-workout snack up a gastronomic notch and reap the benefits of long-lasting energy with this ready-in-a-flash mashed sweet potato recipe.
Apple Sweet Potato Mash
High in complex carbohydrates, the sweet spud can provide some long-lasting energy for your impending exercise pursuit. But there’s no need to put your workout on hold while you roast or boil one up when this nifty microwave mash gets the job done quickly. Some add-ins, such as maple syrup, applesauce, and crunchy pumpkin seeds provide more motivation to work out. As a bonus for the diet-minded and those afflicted with food sensitivities, it’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly and vegan.
Servings: 1 | Active Time: 10 min.
* Although digestion rates vary, you’ll likely perform better if you give yourself 30 minutes or more for digestion.
- 1 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/3 cup plain applesauce
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Place sweet potato cubes and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in plastic to allow for venting. Microwave on high for 6 minutes, or until potato is fork-tender. The bowl will be very hot, so use oven mitts or a dish towel to remove from microwave.
Add applesauce, maple syrup, allspice, and ground ginger (if using) to bowl and mash together. Top with raisins and pumpkin seeds.
- Replace applesauce with pear sauce
- Mash in cinnamon instead of allspice
- Use dried cranberries instead of raisins
- Swap out pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds
Nutritional Info: Calories: 257 | Protein: 5 grams | Carbs: 53 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Fiber: 5 grams | Sodium: 46 milligrams
Republished with permission of VeloPress from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Matt Kadey, RD. See more recipes at rocketfuelfoods.net.